Pietra Brettkelly’s A Flickering Truth is New Zealand’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film award category of the 89th Academy Awards. The film was selected by a committee of experienced film industry representatives, chaired by NZFC CEO Dave Gibson.
Making the announcement, Gibson said, “Pietra Brettkelly is an uncompromising and courageous filmmaker with a singular cinematic voice and vision. The selection committee and the New Zealand Film Commission are very pleased to endorse A Flickering Truth and we congratulate Pietra and her team.”
A Flickering Truth becomes the fourth NZ submission for consideration, following Tusi Tamasese’s The Orator (2011), Dan Rotberg’s White Lies (2013), and Toa Fraser’s The Dead Lands (2014). The field is usually around 80 titles, the record being 2014’s 83. No NZ submission has yet survived the first cull.
Brettkelly’s film had its world premiere at the 2015 Venice Film Festival where it screened in the Venice Classics section. It played in this year’s NZIFF and is now on limited release here.
Australia has submitted Martin Butler & Bentley Dean’s Tanna, which also played here in the NZIFF, as its entry.
So far this year, the Foreign Language Oscar line-up is a modest one (36 titles including A Flickering Truth at time of writing), although not without controversial selections.
Brazil has submitted David Schurmann’s Little Secret. The choice comes after the makers of Aquarius protested against the Brazilian government at Cannes. Film critic Marcus Petrucelli strongly criticised the protest. Following his comments, Petrucelli was co-opted on to Brazil’s Academy selection committee. One member of the committee resigned and several filmmakers withdrew their films from consideration to protest the appointment of Petrucelli.
László Nemes’s Son of Saul won the award this year, the second time a Hungarian feature had won. The most successful country is Italy, whose films have won the award 14 times. Submissions for the Academy’s Best Foreign Language Film category close on Monday 3 October (US time).